J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2020, Vol. 62 ›› Issue (7): 927-947.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12862

Special Issue: Plant-biotic interaction

• Molecular Physiology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Identification of plant genes putatively involved in the perception of fungal ergosterol-squalene

Laura Lindo1,2, Rosa E. Cardoza1,2, Alicia Lorenzana2, Pedro A. Casquero2 and Santiago Gutiérrez1,2*   

  1. 1Area of Microbiology, University of León, Campus of Ponferrada, Ponferrada, Spain
    2University Group of Research in Engineering and Sustainable Agriculture, University of León, León, Spain

    Email: Santiago Gutiérrez (s.gutierrez@unileon.es)
  • Received:2019-04-30 Accepted:2019-07-30 Online:2019-08-23 Published:2020-07-01


Trichoderma biocontrol strains establish a complex network of interactions with plants, in which diverse fungal molecules are involved in the recognition of these fungi as nonpathogenic organisms. These molecules act as microbial‐associated molecular patterns that trigger plant responses. Previous studies have reported the importance of ergosterol produced by Trichoderma spp. for the ability of these fungi to induce plant growth and defenses. In addition, squalene, a sterol biosynthetic intermediate, seems to play an important role in these interactions. Here, we analyzed the effect of different concentrations of ergosterol and squalene on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum ) growth and on the transcription level of defense‐ and growth‐related genes. We used an RNA‐seq strategy to identify several tomato genes encoding predicted pattern recognition receptor proteins or WRKY transcription factors, both of which are putatively involved in the perception and response to ergosterol and squalene. Finally, an analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana mutants lacking the genes homologous to these tomato candidates led to the identification of a WRKY40 transcription factor that negatively regulates salicylic acid‐related genes and positively regulates ethylene‐ and jasmonate‐related genes in the presence of ergosterol and squalene.

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